Neuron class-specific responses govern adaptive myelin remodeling in the neocortex

Published Date: 
December 18, 2020

Myelin plasticity is critical for neurological function, including learning and memory. However, it is unknown whether this plasticity reflects uniform changes across all neuronal subtypes, or whether myelin dynamics vary between neuronal classes to enable fine-tuning of adaptive circuit responses. We performed in vivo two-photon imaging of myelin sheaths along single axons of excitatory callosal neurons and inhibitory parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in adult mouse visual cortex. We found that both neuron types show homeostatic myelin remodeling under normal vision. However, monocular deprivation results in adaptive myelin remodeling only in parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. An initial increase in elongation of myelin segments is followed by contraction of a separate cohort of segments. This data indicates that distinct classes of neurons individualize remodeling of their myelination profiles to diversify circuit tuning in response to sensory experience.


Sung Min Yang, Katrin Michel , Vahbiz Jokhi , Elly Nedivi , Paola Arlotta